Sandi's Reviews > Rollback

Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer
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's review
Sep 24, 08

bookshelves: sci-fi, 2008, hugo-nominees-2008
Read in September, 2008

About halfway through "Rollback" by Robert J. Sawyer, I had a scathing review all ready to go. I hated the first half. There were way too many brand names used. There were way too many Star Trek references. There was this horribly long exposition about the movie "Contact" starring Jodie Foster. The couple around whom the story centers were born a year before me and I had a hard time relating to their thought processes. If I were reminiscing about a pizza dinner from 40 years earlier, I certainly wouldn't be thinking about it being from Pizza Hut and remembering that the crust was really bad for you. I know that hard science fiction has a tendency towards exposition, but Sawyer takes that exposition to an extreme by explaining things we already know about. I mean, really, what was the point of recalling that Mr. Rogers started on Canadian television? Was it worth a whole paragraph?

Just past the halfway mark, the story picked up a bit. Sawyer dropped much of the name dropping and got into his characters a little bit more. The twist ending was very good and the epilogue made the book.

Frankly, I felt like I had to sift through a lot of junk to get the the good stuff in this book. The good stuff was very good, but it could have been adequately covered in a 100-150 page novella rather than a 320 page novel. I was really disappointed. I was really looking forward to enjoying this book. It was nominated for the Hugo award and I loved "Hominids" by this same author. At least it was a fast read.
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